Hailing from Chandigarh, Sandesh Jhingan started training for professional football at St Stephens football academy as a 17-year-old and went on to excel and rise above the ranks. His solid performances earned him a call-up to the state team and thus he represented the u-19 Chandigarh team. In 2011, he received a call-up to represent then second division I-league side United Sikkim where he excelled and played a major part in helping them reaching promotion into the I-league. The team weren’t able to cope with the league and got relegated the following season. Jhingan was seen as a bright young prospect and also received offers from Chinese leagues for a trial but wasn’t able to go as he was drafted into the Indian football team.
INDIAN FOOTBALL AWARDS PRESENTED
2014 Emerging Player of the Year: Sandesh Jhingan pic.twitter.com/YrIK75CiM9
— Kerala Football (@KeralaFootball) February 16, 2015
Jhingan was first called up to the national side to 2013 but didn’t feature due to an injury he sustained during their preparatory camp. In 2014, he was drafted into the under 23 squads for the Asian games and didn’t have a good debut match where he gave away an own goal in 5-0 loss to UAE.
His rise to prominence started when he was signed by the Kerala Blasters in the inaugural season of the Indian Super League where he was not only judged the best emerging player but also received the silver medal as they lost the final. He never stopped growing since then, and the once emerging player was transformed into a versatile defender who was rock solid at the back. His defensive abilities are second to none in the current footballing scenario in the country and he deserves every bit of praise that he gets.
He is an integral part of the National team with his leadership abilities at the back and also his ability to pop up with goals in crunch situations. His aerial prowess is unquestionable and his ability to read game situations is one worth mentioning. He captained the Kerala Blasters this year and also became the first player to notch up 50 games for club at the Indian Super League, he was on many occasions handed the captaincy of the Country as well in the absence of Sunil Chettri and looks like the one who would take over the reigns once the great man retires.
Sandesh Jhingan to lead Indian football team in Sunil Chhetri, Gurpreet Singh absence, reports @soumo17
— Deccan Chronicle (@DeccanChronicle) August 18, 2017
Sandesh has truly grown into being one of the pillars on which Indian football continues to rise and with age and maturity, the only way is up for the towering defender.